Fix Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine on Windows

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This tutorial explains how you can fix Java virtual machine creation errors on Windows.

Every now and then I like to play a relaxing computer game, and the excellent strategy game TripleA was my game of choice yesterday. It is a Java-based game but since the machine I wanted to run it on had Java (only untied from the browser) , I did not think that this would be an issue.

When I tried to start the game though after installation it quit immediately afterwards. The error message that it displayed was definitely Java related:

Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine

Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.

First thing I did was double-check to make sure that Java was indeed properly installed - it was. It was the most recent version and the game should just run fine using it according to the game's website.

error could not create java virtual machine

After some digging around and testing I came up with a solution for the issue that worked and resolved the error message so that the Java application started just fine. It involves changing how much memory Java is allowed to use on the system.

Java on Windows uses an initial size of 16 Megabyte and a maximum of 64 Megabyte.  You can find that out by yourself by running the command java -XX:+PrintFlagsFinal -version  on your machine. Check the InitialHeapSize and MaxHeapSize values here (displayed in Bytes).

Now, to resolve the error message we need to increase the size that Java can use for memory. Here is how that is done (demonstrated using Windows 7, may differ slightly on other versions of Windows):

  1. Tap on Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel applet. You can alternatively open the control panel manual to go there if you prefer it that way.
  2. Click on advanced system settings on the left.
  3. Select environmental variables here.
  4. Click on new under System Variables.
  5. Enter _JAVA_OPTIONS as the variable name.
  6. Enter -Xmx256M as the variable value.
  7. Click ok twice.

The setting is available right away, you do not need to restart the computer first. It raises the allowed memory to 256 Megabyte.  If your application does not run fine afterwards, try raising the memory to 512 or even 1024 Megabyte instead.

Note that this increases the maximum heap size only. If you also need to increase the minimum heap size, use -Xms256M for that.

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Fix Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine on Windows
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How to fix the Java Error could not create the Java Virtual Machine after you run a Java program on your Windows PC.
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Responses to Fix Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine on Windows

  1. dutscher May 27, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    thanks very much!

  2. dgwarez June 5, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Thanks. It worked for me!

  3. Ben T June 9, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    Thanks! You save my day

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